In July of 2013, Illinois became the last state in the union to enact a concealed carry law. In January of this year, the state began accepting applications for permits. This week, Chicago police announced that the city's first quarter murder rate was the lowest since 1958.
Via ABC-affiliate Eye Witness News in the Windy City:
- The first three months of the year saw 6 fewer murders than the same time frame in 2013—a 9 percent drop—and 55 fewer murders than 2012, according to a statement from Chicago Police.
- There were 90 fewer shootings and 119 fewer shooting victims, drops of 26 and 29 percent respectively, according to police statistics.
- Compared to the first quarter of 2012, there have been 222 fewer shootings and 292 fewer shooting victims. Overall crime is down 25 percent from last year, and police said more than 1,300 illegal guns were recovered in the last three months.
Coincidence? Hard to say. And too early to tell. Although, I doubt that the anti-gun crowd is celebrating the good news.
Gun crime experts John Lott, Jr. and David Mustard made the famous argument in "Crime, Deterrence, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Firearms" that: "When state concealed handgun laws went into effect in a county, murders fell by 8.5 percent, and rapes and aggravated assaults fell by 5 and 7 percent." More guns mean less crime.
Gary Kleck, PhD., also a gun crime expert, found that the crime deterrence effect of firearms possession is significant: sophisticaed statistics suggest three to four crimes are stopped by a handgun than are committed in the United States every year.
True, the U.S. has many more guns than other countries, but 99.995% of firearms every year are not used to commit homicides. The rate of gun homicide is in the thousands every year in a nation of over 300 million - meaning that there are numerous "killers" that far exceed gun homicides.
While statistics vary and people on both sides of the gun debate differ on whether concealed carry laws help to prevent gun crime, this thing is certain: If my loved ones or I were under attack, I would want the capability to stop the attackers. Dead in their tracks, if necessary. Wouldn't you?